LONDON. — It’s been a crazy English Premiership and, for the first time in more than half a century, the league is without an unbeaten team after six rounds of games.
Everton were the last side to relinquish their undefeated record, in this most unpredictable of seasons, although the 2-0 loss at Southampton on Sunday didn’t knock Carlo Ancelotti’s side off the top of the standings.
It’s a campaign that has already seen Manchester United concede six goals at home while Liverpool became the first title holders to ship more than half-a-dozen goals, for almost 70 years, after their humiliating 2-7 loss at Aston Villa.
Arsenal were the last side to do so in September 1953, when they lost 1-7 to Sunderland which means that the Reds loss is the heaviest defeat, by a current Premier League champion, to date.
There have already been 25 wins, in the Premier League, for visiting clubs this season and, in the last two weeks, there have been more wins for the away sides than the home teams.
Leicester City’s 1-0 victory at Arsenal was their first win at the home of the Gunners in 40 years.
Sunday marked a year since Southampton were humiliated 0-9 by Leicester City, in front of their own fans, a result that had many questioning Ralph Hasenhuttl’s future.
Despite losing the next three league and cup games, Saints opted to stick with the Austrian and their loyalty has paid off.
“Now we don’t even think about it anymore, I don’t care,” Hasenhuttl said after goals by James Ward-Prowse and Che Adams at St. Mary’s secured his team a third win in four games.
Danny Ings — Southampton’s top scorer — set up both of the goals, highlighting the other side of his game in the same way Harry Kane is doing at Tottenham.
This was the Saints’ 16th win, in 34 top-flight games, since the crushing Leicester result, and it was every bit as impressive as last season’s eye-catching victories over Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Leicester which helped earn Hasenhuttl a new four-year contract.
Here are some of the stats:
Everton’s defeat means this is the first English top-flight campaign since 1967-68 in which no sides are unbeaten through the first six matches.
Southampton have beaten the team starting the day top of the Premier League for the first time in 12 matches, since a 1-0 victory at Anfield against Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool in September 2013.
Everton have conceded at least twice in four of their past five Premier League games, and have done so in three straight league matches for the first time since December 2019.
Southampton have won 10 points from their six Premier League games this season — their best return at this stage since 2014-15 under Ronald Koeman.
- James Ward-Prowse has scored 13 Premier League goals under his current manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, in 64 games — three more than he managed in 173 appearances for seven different managers for Southampton.
Everton have received straight red cards in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since December 2002.
After failing to score in any of his first 24 Premier League appearances, Che Adams has now netted six times in his past 12 matches for Southampton in the competition.
Lucas Digne, the adventurous left back so vital to Everton’s attacking game, is another player who will be missing for the foreseeable future after getting sent off for landing studs-first on the ankle of Southampton right back Kyle Walker-Peters midway through the second half.
Carlo Ancelotti described the red card as a “joke” and also questioned the motives of the referee, Kevin Friend, following the widespread outcry over two high-profile challenges by Everton players — Jordan Pickford and Richarlison — in the Merseyside derby last weekend.
“Maybe all this talk this week against Pickford, against Richarlison, affected the decision,” Ancelotti said, “and if so, it’s not right.”
Vardy was restricted to just the final half-hour at Emirates Stadium while he manages a calf injury, but that was enough time to keep up his brilliant scoring streak against Arsenal.
By stooping to head home a cross from fellow substitute Cengiz Under following a rapid counter-attack in the 80th minute, Vardy scored his 11th Premier League goal against Arsenal.
That is the most he has scored against a single team in the competition.
Leicester have now beaten Manchester City and Arsenal away, and this latest impressive victory on the road was marked by a composed display by new signing Wesley Fofana, a 19-year-old center back who joined from Saint-Etienne.
Arsenal have won three and lost three of its six matches so far.
Since opening with a 3-0 win at Fulham, Mikel Arteta’s team has averaged just a goal a game and barely troubled Leicester after having an early goal by Alexandre Lacazette from a corner disallowed for offside against Granit Xhaka. — AP/BBC.